Hello again, Jamie. Still interested in gillieing, huh?
My worry is that you're a bit late in the season to find a full time/seasonal position. I've been doing the latter for some years now and usually contact potential employers in late Jan/Feb. By then they know the bulk of their bookings for the coming season and whether they need new gillies or not. That's for the north-east & north of Scotland where seasonals often start in late March/early April. In the Hebs it's a later, shorter season, often late May/early June and I suspect that most positions are already filled for '19.
There are a few things you might try:
Send your details to sporting agents - C.K. Galbraith, Savills and Goldsmiths, for instance. One helped me find my current position and they may know of vacancies at short notice.
Write to or phone any estate manager you can find on line. Use old T&S's, Fishpal, those letting agents' sites above, etc., to find fishing estates, google them and contact them. If you're prepared to do a week here, a week there, tell them so - decent holiday cover can be hard to find in the Highlands and you might get your foot in the door for next season. Contacts can matter in this businesses so the more people you meet the better when starting out. They might refer you on elsewhere later or give you the nod to an upcoming job.
One possible chance you do have this late in the season is that someone somewhere decides to quit or gets fired. If you're able to drop everything and head off till October within a week, let the Factor/Head Gillie/Estate Manger know you're available at short notice.
As before, Jamie, the best of luck finding a position. If I hear of anything specific I'll p.m. you.
It my not be what you are looking for, but Storas Uibhist are usually looking for gillies for the boats on the lochs of South Uist later in the year. Your problem will be that your accommodation will most likely come out of your wages, I suppose, but you could always speak to John Steele, the fishery manager there. I think the Storas has engines. Brownies to start with, then salmon and sea-trout later. Once you get yourself settled into the island, however, you'll never want to leave and your larder will never be empty. There is stalking and goose and snipe shooting in the winter. Indeed, if you want to shoot geese, the local crofters will embrace you with both arms and they always need beaters for the snipe guns who pay a fortune to shoot there. Plenty houses for sale on the island, but it's a wild, savage place in winter. One of my pals, who was a local fisherman until he retired, told me that he regularly lost thousands of pounds' worth of creels etc. every winter. If you have a missus, she may want to leave after one winter there. If not, marry a local girl, tie flies for the summer visitors all winter, learn some Gaelic, respect the local way of life, be pleasant to everyone and you'll settle in. And you'll be unlikely to have to deal, week after week, with long-faced anglers. Best wishes.
Hello, Jamie, Any luck last season? You're right to be looking now - I just got my start date for late March yesterday myself.
Invermarnoch's advice is spot on for South Uist, from the weather (wind = 100 mph+ last week) right down to the marriage guidance.
Their season is extended (backwards) by the trout angling compared to Lewis & Harris. More weeks = More wages & hopefully tips.
If the Hebs appeal contact Dickon Green at Uig Lodge, Uig, Isle of Lewis.
Last year he wanted a gillie who would also also help around the house and restaurant. There was accomm. incl. but I think it is shared with other season staff.
It would be an interesting place to fish/gillie. There's the Bruton Stream on Ardroil beach, the sands create a falling spate in the sea with each tide, the spate river above and two lochs above that. At least one holds char and ferox, a resource as yet barely tapped here. I spoke to Dickon last year about exploring the ferox fishing as an estate attraction. It may offer the potential to increase the season, bringing in early fishing revenue - and work for the gillie/s. He was open to the idea but a job offer elsewhere took me away too soon. Still, it may appeal to you?
If you're fit, very fit, contact Innes Morrison at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle/North Harris Estates. They take on gillies and watchers each season. Remote, you'll need a car, but beautiful rugged country with some wonderful waters. Ian Jones has been Head Gillie there for some years now and is a great man to work with/for and an excellent fisher.
If you can cope with the isolation and long trip to the supermarket it might suit you.
I also had interest last year from two estates on the R. Connon (Contin area) and heard of a possible seasonal job on a stretch of the Ness. Probably worth emailing any estates you can find there.
Best of luck, Jamie. Should I here of anything specific I'll pm you. I stick by what I've said before about contacting the sporting agents as well as estates, they have a wide web of contacts and it's in their interest to help you and their clients.